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The Different Stages of Dementia and How They’re Treated

Dementia is a name given to a group of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, that cause the deterioration of memory and other cognitive functions. Here is some insight into how these diseases generally progress and how care needs increase over time, from Alzheimer’s care specialists in South Jersey.

Symptoms of mild dementia 

People with mild dementia can often  function fairly independently and care for themselves, as they generally experience less severe symptoms of the disease. They may suffer memory loss around recent events (long-term memory is often unaffected), get lost or lose items, experience trouble organizing or expressing thoughts, forget words or struggle with complex problems like managing their bills.

In some cases, personality changes may also occur and the person may become withdrawn or isolated. Although symptoms may be mild, it’s important for families to start considering additional support for their loved ones, either through family caregiving or assisted living communities that offer Alzheimer’s and dementia support.

Symptoms of moderate dementia

In the next stage of the disease, moderate dementia,, people require more help to manage their symptoms and daily lives. They typically experience increased confusion and poor judgement, more significant memory loss (including loss of long-term memory) and changes in their sleeping pattern. This stage of dementia affects the ability to cope with personal daily activities like dressing and bathing, as well as household chores, cooking and maintenance.

Often, significant personality changes occur at this stage, and sufferers often feel agitated, suspicious and even aggressive. Caregivers need to understand how to minimize these symptoms, as well as deliver the necessary support and compassionate care to ensure a high quality of life.

Symptoms of severe dementia 

As the most advanced stage of dementia, severe declines occur in mental and physical health. This stage commonly results in the loss of communication abilities and physical capabilities like walking, sitting, and bladder and bowel control. Patients at this stage require constant, specialist assistance 24 hours a day for all their physical and medical needs, especially as they often become more susceptible to infections like pneumonia.

Compassion, care and community in our beautiful assisted living facility in South Jersey 

The Shores, part of United Methodist Communities, offers memory care support services andassisted living communities specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia,  providingan environment that delivers the highest quality of life. Professional staff assesses each resident and designs a program that is unique to their needs and level of independence, focusing on everyday routines like cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table and living a community lifestyle. These memory care programs also include activities for general wellness like fitness, music and other sensory activities suited to your loved one’s enjoyment.

Our residences are designed to be comfortable and home-like, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact us today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/different-stages-dementia-theyre-treated/ 

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Understanding different types of dementia

Dementia is a term that covers a category of diseases and conditions that primarily cause memory loss through physical changes to the brain. Here’s a guide to the different conditions in this category:

  • Alzheimer’s disease: The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for between 60 and 80% of dementia conditions. It has been known to cause short-term memory loss, confusion, apathy, behavior changes, depression, decreased communication skills and decreased judgment. This is the result of beta-amyloid protein deposits (known as plaques) or twisted tau proteins (tangles) in the brain cells that lead to nerve cell damage and cell death.
  • Parkinson’s disease: A progressive disease that affects movement, it can lead to dementia symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the development of clumps of alpha-synuclein protein deep within the brain that lead to nerve degeneration.
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome: Caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1, this disease often affects alcoholics. This vitamin plays an important role in brain function and nerve cells cannot function properly without it, leading to severe memory loss.
  • Huntington’s disease: This is caused by a defective gene on Chromosome 4, which results in abnormal brain proteins. Over time, this disease worsens, leading to involuntary movements, a decline in thinking and reasoning abilities, irritability and mood changes.
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus: Caused by a buildup of fluid in the brain, patients experience memory loss, as well as difficulty with urinary control and walking.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Known as ‘mad cow disease,’ this fatal brain disease can be transmitted to people in certain circumstances, impairing memory and coordination.
  • Frontotemporal dementia: Little is known about this category of diseases, which includes primary progressive aphasia and Pick’s disease, as there is currently a lack of research-based evidence to link each case. These conditions affect the front and sides of the brain and include symptoms such as personality changes, difficulty with language and behavioral changes.

Memory care and support services from assisted living specialists

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we understand that caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia can be stressful and emotionally draining, and as the disease progresses it may become impossible for you to manage without qualified support.

This is why we offer specialist memory support and care services specifically geared toward assisting Alzheimer’s and other dementia residents. By focusing on providing onsite customized care plans and activities within our comfortable apartment-style community, we help ensure your loved one maintains his or her dignity and quality of life.

To find out more about our services for Alzheimer’s patients, please contact the nearest UMH today:

UMH Bristol Glen in Sussex County, NJ: (973) 300-5788

UMH Collingswood Manor in Camden County, NJ: (856) 854-4331

UMH Francis Asbury Manor in Monmouth County, NJ: (732) 774-1316

UMH Pitman Manor in Gloucester County, NJ: (856) 589-7800

UMH The Shores in Cape May County, NJ: 609-399-8505

 

For more information, visit www.umh-nj.org.

 

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/understanding-different-types-of-dementia/

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What are the essential do’s and don’t’s of dementia care?

If you have a loved one with dementia, it’s important to know how to handle any challenges you may face when socializing with or caring for them. Here is some great advice from assisted living specialists in New Jersey.

How to manage aggression in dementia patients

It’s common for caregivers and loved ones to be confronted by aggression – verbally or physically – when assisting someone with dementia. While often an upsetting and frustrating experience, it’s important to understand why this behavior is occurring in order to handle it properly.

Key to this, is discovering what triggers the outbursts. The most common triggers include unfamiliar surroundings, physical discomfort and fear. So what should you do and what actions should you avoid?

DO: Try to identify what is at the root of the behavior and find a way to remedy the situation, keeping in mind that different things work for different people. For some people, talking calmly and gently touching them, helps to soothe – for others, it increases aggression. Another course of action is to ensure that they aren’t in harm’s way and simply walk away and give them the chance to calm themselves.

DON’T: Under no circumstances should you become confrontational or try and force your loved one to do whatever they are refusing to do. This will only escalate the situation.

How to manage a confused dementia patient

Because dementia affects the memory, confusion about time, places and people are common. People with dementia can easily become fearful or uncertain when they don’t recognize someone or their environment.

DO: Try simple explanations accompanied by familiar things such as photographs, favorite items or even scents. Remember your aim is to try help your loved one feel safe and in control, even if it means delaying an activity or social gathering until they feel comfortable.

DON’T: Don’t use lengthy explanations or reasoning to overcome these moments of confusion, as they simply aren’t effective. Short, to the point explanations or even therapeutic white lies are the fastest and most effective way of calming and helping your loved one – which is the priority during these moments.

Expert Memory Care and Support Services

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer support services and assisted living communities specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents in environments that deliver the highest quality of life. An individualized care plan, developed for each resident, addresses their unique needs and level of independence and focuses on everyday routines like cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table and other common tasks within a community lifestyle. These memory care programs also include activities for general wellness such as fitness, music and other sensory-rich activities suited to your loved one’s enjoyment.

Our residences are designed to be comfortable and homey, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact the nearest UMH today:

UMH Bristol Glen in Sussex County, NJ: (973) 300-5788

UMH Collingswood Manor in Camden County, NJ: (856) 854-4331

UMH Francis Asbury Manor in Monmouth County, NJ: (732) 774-1316

UMH Pitman Manor in Gloucester County, NJ: (856) 589-7800

UMH The Shores in Cape May County, NJ: 609-399-8505

 

For more information, please visit www.umh-nj.org.

 

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/what-are-the-essential-dos-and-donts-of-dementia-care/

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Five Signs Your Aging Loved Ones Need Assistance

  1. Uncharacteristic neglect of home maintenance/housekeeping: If your loved ones are known for the pride they take in their home and garden, a lapse in this care can be a sign they are no longer coping. Ignoring excess clutter, the garden overgrowth, and home maintenance issues can also increase the risk of falls and injuries in the home. If you suspect they feel overwhelmed, offer to help out with certain tasks, but if your parents can’t seem to regain control over their home it may be time to suggest assisted living.
  2. Bills aren’t being paid – or are being overpaid: An occasional lapse or moment of confusion is understandable when it comes to a person’s finances, but if you notice bills starting to pile up or your loved ones making other financial errors, it is right to feel concerned. Managing your own money is a hallmark of independence, so this may be a difficult conversation to have, especially with parents, but it is important to help your parents trust that they can have help handling their finances.
  3. Weight loss: This can be linked to a number of issues, such as grief, depression, and fear of driving or leaving the house. Stay on the lookout for spoiled food, empty fridges or an unwillingness to leave the house to run errands such as grocery shopping. Identifying the issue can help your parents manage their health and stress.
  4. Uncharacteristic, inappropriate behavior: This covers a wide range of issues from odd conversations, forgetting to dress properly and decreased personal hygiene, to paranoia, accidentally taking too much medication and notably increased forgetfulness (like burning food on the stove, etc.).
  5. A serious medical diagnosis: Medical conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s will affect your loved ones’ ability to cope with day-to-day activities and permanent caregiving is key to slowing the condition’s progression and ensuring their quality of life. While you may be able to assist in the early stages, it’s important to remember that qualified professionals such as those at UMH memory care residences are available to provide additional compassion and support.

Adult children are often the best at picking up on these issues and determining whether these behaviors are just personal quirks or something more serious, so remember to rely on your instincts. If you are worried about your parents or aging loved ones, a gentle conversation will help determine if they need help and what support is available.

Compassionate care and community assisted living 

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, our priority is to deliver affordable, expert assisted living, nursing home care and support services to seniors based on their individual needs. With residential apartments designed for optimal access and mobility, meal programs and 24-hour medical and security services, we help our residents to live independent, full lives. We also have a great selection of social programs, classes, events and trips, as well as customized support services for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents.

For more information on our assisted living communities and long-term care services, please contact us today or visit www.umh-nj.org.

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/five-signs-your-aging-loved-ones-need-assistance/

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What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition which affects the brain and its ability to function normally in areas such as memory, problem solving and language. Generally, it occurs in people over the age of 65, although in some cases, people develop it in their 40s and 50s. As one of the leading causes of dementia, it is estimated that Alzheimer’s affects around 5 million Americans – a number that is expected to increase as our population ages.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Memory lapses (for example, forgetting where you’ve put something in the house).
  • Forgetting recent events.
  • Getting lost on routes which should be familiar.
  • Missing important appointments or special events.
  • Difficulty recalling a name or word in conversation.

As this is a progressive disease, later symptoms are much more severe:

  • The inability to follow a conversation.
  • Unnecessarily repeating things in conversation.
  • Difficulty carrying out a set of instructions or routine (getting dressed, folding clothes, cooking, etc.).
  • Dramatic personality changes, occasionally accompanied by aggression, irritation and depression.
  • Problems judging distances, navigating physical obstacles and seeing in three-dimensions.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Confusion over dates, times and locations.

The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Dementia is a category of symptoms grouped around the ability to perform mental tasks, while Alzheimer’s is a disease that has symptoms which fall into the dementia category. There are many forms of dementia, some of which can be treated very successfully. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and scientists aren’t sure exactly what causes the disease, although genetics, hypertension and the aging process itself are known to be risk factors.

Memory Care and Support Services from United Methodist Homes of New Jersey

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we understand that caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be stressful and emotionally draining and, as the disease progresses, it may become impossible for you to manage without qualified support.

This is why we offer specialized memory support and care services specifically geared towards assisting people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. By focusing on onsite customized care plans and activities within our comfortable apartment-style community, we ensure your loved one maintains his or her dignity and quality of life at all times.

To find out more about our Memory Support services, please contact UMH today or visit www.umh-nj.org.

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What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Dr. Aloysius (Alois) Alzheimer first described Alzheimer’s disease in 1901 as a type of chronic dementia which affects the areas of the brain that focus on behavior, language, memory and thinking. It is a progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms will slowly appear and worsen over time – often becoming too severe for the patient to manage simple daily tasks.

What Causes Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process, although most people with the disease are over the age of 65. The exact cause of this disease isn’t known, but risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing the disease include a genetic history of Alzheimer’s, head injuries, depression and hypertension.

How Does Alzheimer’s Affect the Brain?

The latest scientific research has shown that Alzheimer’s prevents brain cells from working as they should by disrupting their processes and causing them to break down. As cells break down, other systems dependent on the processes of those cells are also negatively affected – and so the damage spreads.

Two abnormal structures called plaques and tangles,cause these breakdowns although it is still unknown why they occur. Plaques are protein fragments, known as beta-amyloid, which build up between the brain’s nerve cells while tangles are protein fibers that clog up the inside of the cells. Highly concentrated in the areas of the brain used for memory, people with Alzheimer’s develop a lot more of these buildups than would otherwise naturally occur as we age.

As the disease progresses, patients experience more dramatic symptoms, which can include aggression, personality changes, confusion, difficulty eating and walking and poor sleeping patterns. Fortunately, there are a wide range of services for Alzheimer’s patients and their families such as support groups, memory support services and experienced, medically trained caregivers.

What are Memory Care and Support Services?

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer a support service specifically for Alzheimer’s patients which provides an environment that delivers the highest quality of life. Each resident program, customized to their unique needs and level of independence, focuses on everyday routines such as cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table, and more within a community lifestyle. These four memory care programs also include activities for general wellness like fitness, music and other sensory activities appropriatefor your loved one.

Our residences are designed to be comfortable and homey, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact UMH today or visit www.umh-nj.org.

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/what-is-alzheimers-disease/

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